Efficacy and safety of sacubitril/valsartan in the treatment of heart failure: protocol for a systematic review incorporating unpublished clinical study reports

HRB Open Res. 2021 Apr 1;3:5. doi: 10.12688/hrbopenres.12951.2. eCollection 2020.


Background: Sacubitril/valsartan is a first-in-class angiotensin-receptor neprilysin inhibitor used to treat heart failure. The evidence for this novel medication is largely based on one pivotal phase III trial which was stopped early due to significant clinical benefits being shown. However potential limitations in trial design have been highlighted in recent literature, necessitating a thorough review of all evidence for sacubitril/valsartan. Methods: This review will be conducted using the PRISMA reporting guidelines. Relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for sacubitril/valsartan will be systematically searched for in Medline (PubMed), Embase, Cochrane library, Google Scholar, Web of Science, Toxline and Scopus. Clinical trials registries will be searched, as will eight grey literature databases. In addition, unpublished clinical study reports (CSRs) of relevant trials will be requested from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Clinical Study Data Request database. Studies will be included if they involve randomising adult patients with heart failure to either sacubitril/valsartan or usual care, with either an active comparator or placebo as a control. Heart failure of any subtype or NYHA class will be included. All relevant clinical and safety outcomes will be reviewed, particularly hospitalisation due to heart failure and cardiovascular mortality. Two reviewers will assess eligibility of selected studies for inclusion. Data extraction will be performed separately for trial publications, clinical trial registries and for CSRs using a piloted form. Methodological quality of included trials from published sources will be assessed separately using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool (RoB 2). Narrative synthesis of included studies will be conducted and, if appropriate, meta-analysis for clinical efficacy and safety outcomes. Discussion: This review will collate all available RCT data on sacubitril/valsartan including published and unpublished sources in order to obtain a more complete picture of the evidence base for sacubitril/valsartan. Registration: This protocol is registered on PROSPERO (reference CRD42020162031).

Keywords: Clinical Study Reports; Heart Failure; Sacubitril/valsartan; Systematic Review.

Grant support

This doctoral research project is funded by the Health Research Board of Ireland (funding reference CDA-2018-005).